IT independant innovation... dead?

Two quotes from PHPeverywhere:

"Perhaps the problem is that the computer industry is maturing, so all the cool corners where you could do your own thing in peace are disappearing slowly..."

-John Lim: "Gamma Radiation from Microsoft turns open source advocates into Sulks"

"[We] are caught between a rock and a cheap place, where your software cannot get enough market share in a world dominated by Microsoft (and other BigCos), and at the same time your niche is being commoditized by free software.

The only way to make money in the IT industry nowadays unless you have colossal market share (which you use to eat up niches such as anti-virus software) or are creative enough to compete in the PC-gaming industry, is by combining your products with services. And make sure your services is the main component, otherwise you risk going out of business when your product is commoditized. The whole industry is moving this way, from minnows like my company to giants like IBM (which is the furthest in this transition, buying up Rational and PWC). Sun is learning it the hard way."

-John Lim: Tim O'Reilly: "The Open Source Paradigm Shift"

And make sure you don't miss Eric Kidd's "The Missing Future". Excellent!

Optimistic locking

Cédric explains optimistic concurrency in a nutshell. Neato! ;)

The hard disk storage access problem

Quoting Jim Gray again:

"We have an embarrassment of riches in that we're able to store more than we can access. Capacities continue to double each year, while access times are improving at 10 percent per year. So, we have a vastly larger storage pool, with a relatively narrow pipeline into it.

We're not really geared for this. Having lots of RAM helps. We can cache a lot in main memory and reduce secondary storage access. But the fundamental problem is that we are building a larger reservoir with more or less the same diameter pipe coming out of the reservoir. We have a much harder time accessing things inside the reservoir."

You really ought to read the whole interview. It's very interesting. :yes:

Of course, I don't really have a clue on that subject but as the discussion moves to access times (currently at 5 ms which is still very long!), I always wonder why those HD manufacturers don't put multiple heads on the arm... For example, if you'd put 4 heads on each arm, you'd have to move the arms 4 times less to access any cylinder on the disks. Considering disk rotation to the right block marginal (remember at 15 000 rpms an a half rotation only takes 33 µs!), that would almost divide access times by 4 instantly! :!:

I cannot even imagine this being a cost issue... so what :?: (ahem I mean, what am I missing... ;) )

mySQL & Oracle

(via Cédric) Jim Gray:

"Larry Ellison announced that Oracle is now running entirely on Linux. But he didn't say, "Incidentally we're going to run all of Oracle on MySQL on Linux." If you just connected the dots, that would be the next sentence in the paragraph. But he didn't say that, so I believe that Larry actually thinks Oracle will have a lot more value than MySQL has. I do not understand why he thinks the Linux problems are fixable and the MySQL problems are not."

Quote of the day - Concurrent development

The truth is that concurrent development is hard. Good SCM tools make it easier, but some people prefer to adopt processes which prevent complexity instead of using tools which help manage complexity.

-Eric W. Sink